How do the rate of linear growth and the timing of puberty contribute to the diagnostic picture in obesity in children?

Updated: Feb 20, 2019
  • Author: Steven M Schwarz, MD, FAAP, FACN, AGAF; Chief Editor: Jatinder Bhatia, MBBS, FAAP  more...
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Answer

Two particularly useful clinical measures are the rate of linear growth and the timing of puberty. Most patients who have familial or diet-induced obesity grow at a normal or excessive rate and enter puberty at the appropriate age; many mature more quickly than children with normal weight, and bone age is commonly advanced. In contrast, growth rate and pubertal development are diminished or delayed in growth hormone deficiency, hypothyroidism, cortisol excess, and various genetic syndromes. Conversely, growth rate and pubertal development are accelerated in precocious puberty and in some girls with polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS).


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